Saturday, June 21, 2014

Mafia Members Are 'Excommunicated', Pope Francis Says --- Pope Francis delivered a condemning message to Italy’s most powerful Mafia affiliation on Saturday, calling it an example of "the adoration of evil" and saying Mafiosi "are excommunicated." -- "This evil must be fought against, it must be pushed aside. We must say no to it,” the pope told a crowd, gathered at a mass in Cassano all'Ionio, a southern Italian town overrun by the ‘Ndrangheta Mafia. -- "Those who, in their lives, follow this path of evil, as mafiosi do, are not in communion with God. They are excommunicated," Pope Francis said in unprepared comments at a mass before tens of thousands of people. His planned comments included allusions to the evils of abusing money and power, but did not reference the Mafia directly. -- Before the mass, the pope visited the imprisoned father of a 3-year-old child, who was found dead in a scorched car in January. The ‘Ndrangheta allegedly killed the toddler and two men in retribution for an unpaid drug debt. -- "This evil must be fought against, it must be pushed aside. We must say no to it," Pope Francis said during the mass. -- Earlier, the pontiff warned local priests to avoid individualism, ego and idol, “which unfortunately are widespread in our diocese.” -- Some priests in the area have been investigated for 'Ndrangheta involvement, allowing the mafia affiliate to contribute money for building churches and organizing processions, according to the Wall Street Journal. -- Pope Francis vowed that the church would devote comprehensive efforts to combat organized crime. - Elisha Fieldstadt,


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